RPA Adds Creative Muscle on Acura

LOS ANGELES Luxuriating in the recent success of the Acura division, independent RPA has added Bill Bayne and Tito Melega to its senior creative staff, the agency said.

“It’s very difficult to find people right for the Acura brand,” said Mark Erwin, svp and creative director at the Santa Monica, Calif., shop. “We’re very pleased to have found creatives with both car experience and good general advertising skills.”

Joining as a senior art director, Melega, 37, emigrated from Argentina as a 20-year-old, worked his way through vocational school in Indiana, and began his career at WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson in New York. He was most recently at Publicis Groupe’s Team One, where he was hired by Tom Cordner to work on Lexus. Before that Melega worked on brands such as United Airlines, Pepsi, FexEx, Miller Lite and IBM during stints at Fallon, GMO and BBDO.

Melega traces his “passion for car advertising” to his “passion for film. It was my original major in Buenos Aires,” he said. “I tend to think cinematically, and car advertising allows you to do that, especially a luxury brand, which is more of an emotional purchase than a rational one.”

Joining as senior copywriter, Bayne, 35, originally from Memphis, Tenn., started at Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Atlanta, then moved to Omnicom’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, for seven years. He got his “first chance at extensive broadcast,” he recalls, working at that shop on brands such as Delta Air Lines, Max Flite and Land Rover. To complete a recent American Legacy Foundation anti-smoking campaign, his team followed an actual quitter (“Bob”) around New York, producing 28 ads in 28 days for the Internet.

“Bill has a fantastic portfolio,” said Erwin, to whom both men report. “That guerrilla marketing stood out, as well as his Land Rover work.” Erwin is teaming Bayne with senior art director Jennifer Young, who worked on Infiniti at Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day.

Bayne’s “thrilled” to be in Southern California, albeit in temporary quarters while he awaits the arrival of his wife, who is expecting their first child.